Honors In Studio Art

Art Students at Rollins


Department of Art and Art History Guidelines for Earning Honors in the Studio Art Major

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The Studio Art faculty developed these requirements in order to standardize the honors thesis process and to make departmental policies transparent and easy to follow.  These requirements are intended to help guide you in the production of advanced studio artwork as preparation for graduate school, artist residencies, sustained professional studio practice, or other similar professional activities.

To earn honors in the major in Studio Art, students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.33 within the major, and complete a two (2) semester, 6 credit hour research project that culminates in the production of a professional-quality senior exhibition, a written thesis document, and an oral defense.  Honors in Studio Art is awarded based upon the timely, successful completion of four components:

  1. A professional-quality senior exhibition.
  2. A well-written and carefully prepared thesis document.
  3. An oral defense in front of the Thesis Committee and Studio Art faculty
  4. A portfolio of digital images and/or videos of artwork.

Achievement will be measured primarily on the eventual quality of these materials, rather than on their size/length.  Specific submission dates and intermediate deadlines (all of which must be met) are delineated below.

 

Where to Begin?

The process for earning Honors in the Major begins with the Junior Portfolio Review (spring semester of junior year).  This review provides a great opportunity for students to identify and develop potential thesis topics and the Studio Art faculty strongly recommend that students interested in earning Honors in the Major consult with their advisor during the advising sessions built into that review process.

Students should then submit to the department a letter of intent to pursue Honors in the Major along with an unofficial transcript (due by the first Friday after spring break, your junior year, or on the date of your Junior Year Portfolio Review, whichever comes first).  Your letter serves as a formal declaration of your intent to pursue Departmental Honors in Studio Art.  It should be a professional letter in which you state the nature of your departmental honors thesis/exhibit and why you should be considered for honors.  It should include the name of the faculty member who has agreed to serve as the thesis advisor for your project (see below).  Double majors intending to pursue Honors in both Studio Art and Art History must submit two, separate applications.  Attach a copy of your unofficial transcript, which may be obtained from your academic advisor or the Registrar’s Office, to the hard copy of your cover letter.

Submit all documents to the Administrative Assistant, Department of Art and Art History, by the first Friday after spring break, your junior year or the date of your Junior Year Portfolio Review, whichever comes first).  Also send an electronic copy of your Letter of Intent to the Chair of the Department.

The Department will meet to discuss each application, following which the Chair will notify you regarding whether your application to pursue Departmental Honors has been accepted or declined by the first Friday in April.

Once accepted, the student should then download an independent study form from the Office of Student Records found at the following address: http://r-net.rollins.edu/studentrecords/download-independent-study.html

The student must fill out this independent study in Studio Art (ART 498-499) form in conjunction with their proposed advisor.  The form will serve as a prospectus for the project, and requires the approval of the Thesis Advisor, the Department Chair, and the proposed members of the committee before the process can proceed. The form must be signed and delivered to the Office of the Dean of Faculty by the end of the last day of classes of the spring semester of your junior year.

 

Thesis Advisor

Students will need to select one Studio Art faculty member to serve as their Thesis Advisor.  This individual will serve as a mentor to the student and will be responsible for the day-to-day supervision of the project.  The relationship of student and advisor is necessarily a close one, so students should consider issues of personality and compatibility, as well as area of specialization when choosing a Thesis Advisor.

Students will develop a research plan, as well as a proposed schedule for the production of their thesis project in conjunction with their faculty advisor.  Students will be held accountable by their faculty advisor for adhering to the deadlines contained in the research plan, including the regular scheduling of multiple advising sessions and drafts of their Thesis Document.  Students are expected to begin the process of writing early, even before the whole of the research is complete so that they will have significant time to revise.

 

The Thesis Committee

The Thesis Committee for Honors in the Major in Studio Art shall consist of three members that will include the student’s Thesis Advisor and at least one other Studio Art faculty member.   Due to the interdisciplinary nature of Studio Art, we strongly encourage students to invite the participation of a faculty member from outside the department as the third member of the Thesis Committee.  Students should submit these invitation requests in writing to all prospective committee members and procure a formal agreement from each of them.  This committee should be formed by the time the initial Independent Study paperwork is submitted (typically before the start of the Fall Semester, senior year).  If the studio faculty members teaching Senior Studio in the fall and Senior Seminar in the spring of your senior year are not part of your committee, please be sure to send copies of your research plan, artist statements and thesis drafts to these faculty members, and invite them to any full committee meetings.

 

The Thesis Components:

 

1. The Thesis Document

Students applying for honors in studio must submit a thesis paper addressing, explaining and analyzing the form and content of their artwork and its art historical context.  The Thesis Document should reflect a great deal of care, and should demonstrate mastery of both basic and advanced methodologies pertinent to the discipline.  The document should be written in formal prose and should follow consistent rules of organization, usage, and style.  It is much more important to produce a number of drafts and revisions leading to a refined final product, rather than to reach a certain number of pages.

Deadlines

  • September 1 (Fall semester before graduation): Candidates submit a thoughtful, one-page typed outline or abstract of their Thesis Document.
  • November 15 (Fall semester before graduation): Candidates submit a first draft of the paper to his/her Thesis Committee members.  The committee members will then make comments on the draft and provide suggestions for revision to the candidate in writing before the end of the fall semester.
  • March 15 (Spring semester of expected graduation): Candidates submit an electronic copy of their paper to their Thesis Advisor and each additional member of their Thesis Committee.
  • April 15 (Spring semester of expected graduation): Candidates submit a final version of their thesis to their Thesis Advisor and each additional member of their Thesis Committee.
  • The Week Following the Exhibition Opening (Spring semester of expected graduation): Candidates orally defend their work to the Thesis Committee in the gallery where their work is being displayed.  The student is responsible for setting up the time and date for the oral defense.

Students are encouraged to include images within the text or as supplementary plates and/or appendices.  Images should be clear, and reproduced at a scale in which elements of detail discussed in the text are discernable.  The text should include cross-references to figures and illustrations as a guide to the reader when supplementary visual material is available.  Images may be used under the provision of Fair Academic Use without the express consent of the copyright holder when contained within unpublished theses, but must be cited in a way that credits the source of the visual material.

Format Guidelines

Students are asked to follow a number of formatting guidelines to facilitate ease of proofreading.  Students should employ an easily readable font, such as Times New Roman or Garamond.  The main text of the Thesis Document should appear in 12 point font, while footnotes and blocked quotations should use 10 point font.  Students should double-space the main body of the document.

Citation

Sources, both textual and visual, within the Thesis Document should be fastidiously cited.  Citation separates plagiarism from scholarship.  Citation should be consistent throughout the document, and should follow the format demonstrated in the following reference:

University of Chicago Press. The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers. 16th ed.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.

 

2. The Senior Exhibition

 

In addition to the paper, students who are pursuing honors will be evaluated on the quality of their senior exhibition.  The following is a list of criteria that may affect the evaluation of your performance.  The Department of Art and Art History realizes that these criteria might not be applicable to all students, particularly students exhibiting in a nontraditional format.  We strongly encourage you to talk early and often with all the members of your Thesis Committee about your exhibition plans and choices.

  • Your exhibit should be professionally executed and consistent with the content, concept and/or theme of your show.
  • The art you include in your exhibit, like the exhibit itself, should have conceptual and/or aesthetic coherence.  (Note: coherence doesn’t necessarily mean that all the work should be in one medium or variations of the same thing).
  • Your artwork should exhibit evidence of careful planning and research. (i.e., it should be evident that you have completely thought through your concept and presentation, and are familiar with art historical precedents for your work, and contemporary artists working in a similar vein).

 

3. The Thesis Oral Defense

 

Students will defend their thesis during the Spring Semester of their senior year (semester of expected graduation).  The defense shall consist of a brief (20 minute) presentation of the content of the thesis followed by a question and answer period with the Thesis Committee, not to exceed 45 minutes.  The defense must be scheduled, by you, to occur in the gallery space in front of your Senior Exhibition during the week following the opening.  The student must provide the committee with a finished copy of the written thesis by April 15, prior to the date of the oral defense.  Students will not be allowed to defend theses that are partially complete.

 

4. The Portfolio

 

At the time of the student’s oral defense of the exhibition, s/he will submit a portfolio of recent artwork.  The portfolio should be comprised of 20 digital images and/or videos (not original works of art) presented on a clearly labeled CD.  Images should be saved as JPEG files (No TIFF or PSD will be accepted!!) and should not exceed 1024 ppi in any one dimension.  A typed image identification page should accompany your submission.  This document should include the title of the artwork, its dimensions (standard practice: height precedes width precedes depth; indicate measurement system you use), medium, and date of completion for each image and/or video included in your portfolio.  The order of information on the image identification page should correspond with the order of the images/videos on your CD.

 

Grading and Determination of Honors

 

The grade for the thesis shall be determined by the Thesis Advisor in consultation with the members of the Thesis Committee and the Studio Art Faculty.  Students will receive a grade determined by their Thesis Advisor at the end of the Fall Semester reflecting progress made, and the ability to meet production deadlines.  Students must receive at least a (B) in order to continue with the thesis process in the Spring Semester.  The grade for the spring independent study will take into account the totality of the Thesis Project and will be derived according to the following rubric.

30% - consultation, ability to meet production deadlines (determined by Thesis Advisor)

30% - quality of the finished Thesis Document (determined by Thesis Committee)

30% - quality of the Senior Thesis Exhibition (determined by Thesis Committee)

10% - performance at Thesis Defense (determined by Thesis Committee)

Honors in the Major represent a substantial investment in time and intellectual energy.  It marks the highest level of achievement in Studio Art.  Therefore, students must receive a grade of (A-) or (A) to obtain this recognition.

An Honors Thesis is the opportunity for students to produce a substantial body of research and to generate a professional document and professional portfolio - both of which can serve as excellent samples to accompany applications for graduate study.  A quality exhibition and a well-written thesis are the best indicators of a student’s ability to succeed in a graduate program.  As such, an Honors Thesis can be a stepping-stone toward a graduate program.

 

Reminder of Important Dates:


Timeline


What you need to know


What you need to do






Junior Year



August/ Sept of Junior year

 


Students consult with their advisor
during their advising sessions for
Junior review.

Notify your advisor of your intentions to
pursue Honors in the Major during
Junior Review Process in Spring of your
Junior Year.

1st Friday after Spring Break of Junior Year

 


Refer to section above :
Where to Begin’ regarding Letter of
Intent.

Complete Letter of Intent to pursue
Honors in the Major due to
Administrative Assistant by
1st Friday after Spring Break of
Junior Year.

1st Friday in April of Junior Year

 


The Chair will notify you regarding
whether your application to pursue
Departmental Honors has been
accepted or declined.

Once accepted, the student should then
download an independent study form
from the Office of Student Records
Refer to section above : ‘Where to
Begin’.
Last Day of classes of Junior Year
Independent study form is due.
Complete independent study form
with Advisor and deliver form to
the Office of the Dean of Faculty.
Senior Year



August of Senior Year

 


Independent study form is due.
Students will meet with advisor to
develop/finalize a research plan and
confirm with Thesis Committee.

Meet with advisor and Thesis
Committee.

September 1

 


Candidates submit a thoughtful,
one-page typed outline or abstract
of their Thesis Document.

Outline due to Thesis Committee.

 

November 15th

 

 


Candidates submit a first draft of the
paper. The committee members will
provide suggestions for revision to
the candidate in writing before the
end of the fall semester.

First draft due to Thesis Committee.

 

 

March 15th

 


Candidates submit an electronic
copy of their paper to their Thesis
Advisor and each additional member
of their Thesis Committee.

Submit copy of Thesis to Thesis
Committee.

 

April 15th

 


Candidates submit a final version of
their thesis to their Thesis Advisor
and each additional member of their
Thesis Committee.

Final draft due to Thesis Committee.

 

 

The Week Following the Senior
Exhibition Opening (April)

 


Candidates orally defend their work
to the Thesis Committee in the
gallery where their work is being
displayed.

Contact Thesis Committee to set up the
time and date for your oral defense.

 


Department of Art and Art History
1000 Holt Avenue - 2774
Winter Park, FL 32789
Phone: 407.646.2498
Fax: 407.628.6395